June 19, 2024

All about India's language politics | The Hindu

Published May 14, 2023, 6:20 p.m. by Courtney

india is a land of many languages. There are 22 officially recognized languages and over 1,000 dialects spoken in the country. This diversity is both a strength and a challenge when it comes to language politics in india.

The Constitution of india recognizes Hindi and English as the official languages of the country. Hindi is the most widely spoken language, with over 41% of the population speaking it as their first language. English is used as the official language of business and government.

There has always been debate about which language should be the national language of india. Hindi is the most widely spoken language, but there are many who do not speak it as their first language. English is the language of business and government, but there are many who do not speak it fluently.

The debate about the national language of india is not just about which language is more widely spoken. It is also about which language is more “Indian”. Hindi is associated with the Hindu majority, while English is seen as the language of the colonial oppressor.

There have been times when the debate about the national language has turned violent. In 1967, there were riots in the state of Bihar over the issue of Hindi being made the national language. In 1992, there were riots in Mumbai after the Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist party, destroyed a mosque.

The issue of language politics in india is complex and sensitive. It is a reflection of the diversity of the country and the challenges of governing a multilingual nation.

You may also like to read about:

all languages are equal but are some

languages more equal than others this is

the question being asked by some leaders

in the non-hindi speaking States

the recent recommendations given by the

Parliamentary committee on official

language has triggered angry reactions

the committee has recommended that Hindi

will be the medium of instruction in

central institutions of higher education

in Hindi speaking States and Regional

languages in other states

this has been viewed by some as Hindi


the chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and

Kerala MK Stalin and pinarayi vijayan

have called for equal treatment to all

the languages specified under the eighth

schedule of the Constitution

the agitations particularly in the

southern states are not a new phenomenon

it goes back decades


it All Began in August 1937 when see

rajagopalachari who headed the then

Madras presidency decided to make him

the compulsory in secondary schools

spearheaded an agitation against this


later in February 1940 the British

government made him be optional

in the 1949 constituent assembly Hindi

was voted as the official language by a

single vote

however it added that English would

continue to be used as an associate

official language for 15 years

with the state's reorganization Act of

1956 the Indian states were arranged on

a linguistic basis

but the agitations took on a different

pitch in the 1960s after the official

languages act came into effect in 1963.

this made Hindi the official language of

the Union government

the agitation hit the streets again and

Tamil Nadu was the epicenter of these


however in 1959 the then prime minister

jawaharlal nehru had given an assurance

in Parliament that English would

continue to be in use as long as

non-hindi speaking people wanted it

Through The Years leaders in the center

have assured that Hindi will not be

imposed on the non-hindi speaking States

but all along actions like change of

highway signs to Hindi or changes in the

National Education policies have given

these states reasons to show their


the committee of parliament on official

language was set up in 1976 under

section 4 of the official languages Act


according to the act the committee will

have 30 MPS 20 from Lok Sabha and 10

from rajya Sabha

the Union home minister will head this


this committee reviews the progress made

in Hindi being used for official


it also makes recommendations to

increase the use of Hindi in official


in September 2022 the 11th volume of the

report of official language committee

headed by home minister Amit Shah was

submitted to president raupati murmur

the recommendations say that English

will be permitted to be a medium of

instruction in all Technical and

non-technical institutions only where it

is absolutely essential

the idea is to gradually replace English

with Hindi

the committee has recommended the

removal of English as one of the

languages in examinations held for

recruitment to the central services

it has recommended that candidates

should have a requisite knowledge of


the union government has always insisted

that these recommendations are only to

replace English with Hindi and not the

local or Regional language

on April 8 2022 Amit Shah in his

statement mentioned that when citizens

of States communicate with each other it

should be in the language of India with

Hindi being accepted as an alternative

to English

on Hindi day he stressed that Hindi is a

friend and not a competitor to the

regional languages



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